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Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010

Ruth Gerson

This Can’t Be My Life (Wrong Records)

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California-based singer-songwriter Ruth Gerson is the archetype of today’s creative do-it-yourself artist. A single mom, vocal coach, music producer and inventor of The Singingbelt—a bio-feedback device created to help teach singers diaphragmatic breath support, the proceeds of which she says “make it possible to be a musician and support my family”—Gerson has created an affecting soundtrack to her divorce.

This Can’t Be My Life opens with “Fresh Air,” an engaging cut in which Gerson sings in a voice that recalls Sarah McLachlan: “You killed me once, you killed me twice/Third time you killed me, I started to want back my light.” The jaunty title track and “Bulletproof”—with its beautiful, soaring chorus—suggest Gerson’s light has returned. But other songs are mired in sleepy melancholy or reveal such darkness and vulnerability that you’ll wish you could just reach out and give Gerson a hug.


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